Help me plan a 11 1/2 month Jeep camping trip Michigan to the Mexico boarder to Dead Horse Alaska and back

Zandcwhite

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Sounds like an amazing adventure, the central Sierra's have some great trails off highway 4. Slick rock, deer valley, etc. Great camping, fishing, and lakes in the area. Shaver lake area has some great trails all around. I think you've already done the Dusy-Ershim, but swap lake, brewer lake, etc are awesome too. Fordyce if you want to run a really tough trail near the Rubicon.
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kej

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Earlier I posted suggestions on Hwy 395 in the Eastern Sierra/Owens Valley since that was where my Jeep was last week. But I usually I split time between the Bay Area and Lake Tahoe. So below are 10 suggestions for Northern CA.

I've taken a more touristic approach rather than wheeling only both because I do not know all the local wheeling opportunities and because there are things worth seeing that don't involve wheeling. Many of these have already been suggested and by the time you get to NorCal you may just want to point your Jeeps back to Michigan. But Oct can be a great time in NorCal (when it is not on fire). So, in no particular order, for your consideration:
  1. Hgwy 1 from Oregon to SF or SF to SLO: Windy and slow it can be spectacular when clear or fogged in with nothing to see
  2. Yosemite: Just drove through it yesterday and it was as spectacular as ever. Was able to get a day pass at the last minute and the COVID limitations have made the crowds not feel like Disneyland
  3. Highway 89 / 49 / 70 between Quincy & Truckee: tons of places to wheel and camp. My favorite ride is the shelf road and 200 steps to the fire lookout on the top of Sierra Buttes. But there are limitless trails, lakes, and campsites. Fires have become an annual problem.
  4. Lake Tahoe: Beautiful and lots of places to wheel, stay, eat, drink, etc. Even more wheeling spots in Western Nevada. Again fires have become an annual problem but fall used to be the best time of year.
  5. Burney Falls: On my bucket list. I have not been but have seen pictures and it has been recommended by several friends.
  6. SF/Marin: No wheeling and SF is a mess but there is still much to see on a day trip. Just sleep outside the city and don't leave anything of value in your Jeeps when in the city.
  7. Redwoods: multiple locations both on the coast and inland (which have different varieties of trees). Worth seeing if you have not seen before.
  8. Wine Country: Fall crush is a good time to visit Napa, Sonoma, Central Coast, Livermore, or Sierra Foothill wineries.
  9. Hearst Castle: Assuming the CA State Park will be open again. Unbelievable wealth from another time.
  10. Carmel/Montery: Worth seeing if you are in the area. Carmel is a cute town. The homes on the 17 mile drive are something. And the aquarium in Monterey is world class.
The popular Federal and State campsites book out months in advance; particularly on the weekends. But you can find local campgrounds or dispersed camping in the more remote regions. You can also just find a motel or look on www.hipcamp.com for some unique campsites hosted by the owner.

Looking forward to seeing the posts on your trip.
 
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wibornz

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In Arizona, Camp at the Lava Tubes in Flagstaff. It's dispersed (free) and the lava tubes are pretty cool. Its about a 40 minute hike down and back.
Added to the list. Big Thanks.
 
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wibornz

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Earlier I posted suggestions on Hwy 395 in the Eastern Sierra/Owens Valley since that was where my Jeep was last week. But I usually I split time between the Bay Area and Lake Tahoe. So below are 10 suggestions for Northern CA.

I've taken a more touristic approach rather than wheeling only both because I do not know all the local wheeling opportunities and because there are things worth seeing that don't involve wheeling. Many of these have already been suggested and by the time you get to NorCal you may just want to point your Jeeps back to Michigan. But Oct can be a great time in NorCal (when it is not on fire). So, in no particular order, for your consideration:
  1. Hgwy 1 from Oregon to SF or SF to SLO: Windy and slow it can be spectacular when clear or fogged in with nothing to see
  2. Yosemite: Just drove through it yesterday and it was as spectacular as ever. Was able to get a day pass at the last minute and the COVID limitations have made the crowds not feel like Disneyland
  3. Highway 89 / 49 / 70 between Quincy & Truckee: tons of places to wheel and camp. My favorite ride is the shelf road and 200 steps to the fire lookout on the top of Sierra Buttes. But there are limitless trails, lakes, and campsites. Fires have become an annual problem.
  4. Lake Tahoe: Beautiful and lots of places to wheel, stay, eat, drink, etc. Even more wheeling spots in Western Nevada. Again fires have become an annual problem but fall used to be the best time of year.
  5. Burney Falls: On my bucket list. I have not been but have seen pictures and it has been recommended by several friends.
  6. SF/Marin: No wheeling and SF is a mess but there is still much to see on a day trip. Just sleep outside the city and don't leave anything of value in your Jeeps when in the city.
  7. Redwoods: multiple locations both on the coast and inland (which have different varieties of trees). Worth seeing if you have not seen before.
  8. Wine Country: Fall crush is a good time to visit Napa, Sonoma, Central Coast, Livermore, or Sierra Foothill wineries.
  9. Hearst Castle: Assuming the CA State Park will be open again. Unbelievable wealth from another time.
  10. Carmel/Montery: Worth seeing if you are in the area. Carmel is a cute town. The homes on the 17 mile drive are something. And the aquarium in Monterey is world class.
The popular Federal and State campsites book out months in advance; particularly on the weekends. But you can find local campgrounds or dispersed camping in the more remote regions. You can also just find a motel or look on www.hipcamp.com for some unique campsites hosted by the owner.

Looking forward to seeing the posts on your trip.

I am a fortunate man. I have already done #1, #2, #4, #6, #7, #8 #9 #10 on that list. The entire list is incredible I bet.

#1, #2, #4, #7 will most likely be a repeat as the others have not done this. I do not think we will be far enough south to go to Carmel or SF again. I used to ride motorcycles all over the US before I was Jeeping like I do now. and visited the places while riding the West Coast about five or six years ago. We enjoyed SF, and ate at the Stinking Rose. In Carmel, we did some light shopping. I stopped into a Jewelry store and saw a Rolex watch on sale for $325,000. The man let me handle it. It was frickin cool. He said it was 1 of 2 that were made. I thought to myself, wow, you own a Ferrari, peasant, my watch cost more than your Ferrari. I think a $325,000 watch is a financial flex if I ever saw one in person.

I will look into the other places that you have suggested. Big Thanks for the advice.
 
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wibornz

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Sounds like an amazing adventure, the central Sierra's have some great trails off highway 4. Slick rock, deer valley, etc. Great camping, fishing, and lakes in the area. Shaver lake area has some great trails all around. I think you've already done the Dusy-Ershim, but swap lake, brewer lake, etc are awesome too. Fordyce if you want to run a really tough trail near the Rubicon.
I will look into these spot. I think Fordyce is more than we want as we have to drive these home.
 

mgenbox

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So I have 107 days to finish planning this trip. I expect to put on approx 20,000 miles. The general plan is to leave January 1st and head to Padre Island, then wheel all.the states west of Texas.

Time Line

January to March. Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Sothern California

March - May will be Nevada, Utah, Northern Arizona and Northern New Mexico. We only have a few hard dates, one of them is 4/10/22 be in Moab for EJS. We have 20+ friends meeting us and wheeling with us in Moab. Plan to spend about 4 to 6 six weeks in Moab.

June, is slated for Colorada.

July 1st, we point the Jeeps north and actively start pushing north towards Alaska. We have set 10 weeks set aside to travel to Alaska and explore Alaska.

Mid-September be in Western Alaska and put the Jeeps on ferries and island hop from Alaska back to Washington.

October explore Washington, Oregon, some of Northern California and Idaho. Then head back to Michigan and be home mid November.

Things that we already plan on attempting to visit will listed on the next post.

What I would like is that knowing our loose itinerary, if you have a suggestion of a place to wheel, camp or a sight that should not be missed, post it up so I can add it to my list.

What I do is build a list and then drop the points on google maps. As we travel, I can look at the map and see what we have already pinned and make decisions if we should go to the pinned locations. We will not hit every pin as we all know that there is a cost in money and time to de everything. We will look at the map and where we are and plan accordingly as we move from state to state. We will set up base camps and do day trips from camp.

If you are not comfortable posting it on an open thread, but are willing to share it with me in a private message, that would be cool also. I will not share locations of anything that is sent to me privately or noted that you do not want it shared.

I have been planning this adventure for approximately 6 years and this is why I bought my JLUR. I have spent the last three years preparing my Jeep, my camper, and my skill set to do this. There will be three JLURs going on this trip.

If you have seen any of my post from my Jeep travels, you have probably seen the cast of characters.

The people going with me... and their Jeep and campers.

This is a super guy and girl. He and her are ride and die type of friends. He looks tough, but we call him Princess.
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They are shutting down a million dollar business for a year to take this trip.
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this guy and girl..... If they can find her a job that she can do remote...... He is a long time friend and she is the first girlfriend that he has ever introduced us to.... Since his divorce 10+ years ago. She is tricking cool.
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we have been riding ATVs, SxS and motorcycles together for 25+ years.


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Then me and my crazy ass wife. We will have been married 32 years at the end of the month.
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of course my set up.
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We all are experienced Jeep wheelers, campers, navigators. We all have skills that help with survival, emergency first aid, Jeep and camper maintenance and repair, recovery, social skills. (we have all traveled together for years), I talked both of them into getting Jeeps and campers. Then with my constant chatter about dreams of going form Arizona to Alaska via Jeep camping.... They just had to come along. They said that I was not allowed to leave them behind. Let me quote Prinsess.. "A trip of a lifetime..... a bucket list adventure."
Wow that’s some trip. Will you strictly be staying in the campers the whole trip?
 

Cavs42

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Yup I am aware of the hassles of traveling with guns. We are preparing to jump through the hoops for Canada. We will most likely take a couple shot guns and or a lever action rifle. I have friends that own some guns stores, and they will ship our handguns to a fellow gun shop owner for us to pick up in Alaska and send them home the same way. From my research transporting a handgun is just too much of a hassle and not worth the potential legal hoops that we would have to jump through.
I'm glad to hear you've considered what to do with your handguns, but be aware that our government is very anti-gun. Firearms are prohibited in our National Parks (Jasper and Banff) and must be securely stored and unloaded at all times. You can't have them in your tent for animal protection etc.

It sucks, but you definitely need to be aware. CBSA (our border services) will likely hassle the crap out of you for transporting even long guns if you're not coming for a hunt or another "legitimate" reason.

Like I said, our government is very anti-gun. My AR15 is a prohibited paperweight right now to prove it.
 
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